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flutherother's avatar

Does God understand Satan?

Asked by flutherother (33261points) October 15th, 2010

God supposedly knows everything but does he know what makes Satan tick and if he does does that make God a little bit evil himself. And vice versa, are God’s motives beyond Satan’s understanding?

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36 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Magic apples put a a small child in a pumpkin.

What is God?

Winters's avatar

Well it would seem pretty obvious that God would from a Christian point of view, though I don’t think that there really is anything to say that God is really 100% good in the first place, since he’s supposedly Almighty, having power over both the good and bad, the light and the dark, etc. (Note: I’m not Christian)

downtide's avatar

Is it possible for an entity that does not exist to understand another entity that doesnn’t exist?

Seek's avatar

If we’re purely exploring this from a mythological perspective…

God made Lucifer with enough free will to develop the desire to overthrow him. He made ⅓ of the angels with enough free will to choose to follow Lucifer. He knew all of that was going to happen (because he’s omniscient and all) and did it anyway. Then he put Lucifer on earth and gave him power here.

Seems to me he’s more than a little responsible.

JustmeAman's avatar

Any question concerning God is already answered by those that think they know. So I guess it is not worth asking any questions concerning God or Satan. Funny thing is it is almost always those that think there is NO God that respond so much and push it and push it and push it. Why do those that do not believe in him respond so much? I guess it is insecurity.

ragingloli's avatar

They made him, and they give him his orders. Of course they understand how their puppet works.

Seek's avatar


I’ve been recreationally studying world mythology since the age of nine. Do I have to believe in Zues to know that Athena sprung full-grown from his forehead, or in Osiris to know Horus was born of a virgin and returned from the dead?

I’ve read the Bible, several times, and thus I feel I am more than qualified to answer a question related to the book.

JustmeAman's avatar

I didn’t see any book mentioned in the question?

Qingu's avatar

In Job, Satan is almost like God’s annoying sidekick.

Winters's avatar

@JustmeAman I just like answering these kinds of questions and would like to help out perhaps a bit with my available knowledge on the subject at hand. Also, I find it nice to see someone having doubts and asking questions about their faith, shows an open mind that I’m willing to engage, possibly teach, and perhaps learn from.

Winters's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr thing is though, someone could just as easily say that God had to kill them because Satan had influenced these people into going against God and into spreading doubt and disbelief amongst men, thus God had to kill them in order to protect mankind. Remember, Satan isn’t out for blood of men rather, he wants them to not worship/believe in/acknowledge God so he can have them for himself, so killing people is probably not in his best interest.

Seek's avatar

And who made Satan and gave him the power to do that?

aprilsimnel's avatar

Wasn’t Satan originally Lucifer, “The Light Bringer”, who was up there with Gabriel and Michael as one of the more favoured angels? Whom God created? Then Lucifer and a ⅓ of the angels tried to take over but lost, so God sent them to the hockey stick place?

If that’s the case, and God is omniscient and omnipotent, then he must have known when he created Lucifer and the other rebel celestials what was going to end up happening, which frankly, I don’t understand the point of this all, then.

Seek's avatar

If God is both omniscient and omnipotent, can he change his mind before he does something that will turn out badly? And if he can’t, how is he omnibenevolent?

Winters's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I guess here’s there issue that we won’t be able to settle, even when I was Christian, I never believed that God was omniscient. It’s all a matter of personal belief.

Harold's avatar

Understanding something or someone does not necessarily mean that you are like it, so your proposition that God understanding Satan makes Him a bit evil is not logical. God understands him to the extent that you can understand something you have never experienced. It is like a living person saying that they understand what it feels like to die. They may be able to comprehend what they THINK it would feel like. God does not know what it is like to be evil, but I am sure that He long ago figured out how Satan thinks.

flutherother's avatar

Harold, if God does not know what it is like to be evil then he does not know everything and he is a limited God. If he does know evil then he cannot be all good as he contains evil.

Harold's avatar

@flutherother – Omniscient means all knowledge, not all experience. Knowledge can be theoretical.

fundevogel's avatar

This is unrelated to God and Satan specifically, everyone’s handling that beautifully. I just wanted to comment on part of the question’s premise:

“God supposedly knows everything but does he know what makes Satan tick and if he does does that make God a little bit evil himself.”

You don’t need to be evil to understand evil any more than you have to be beautiful to understand beauty. We’d be in pretty bad shape if people could only understand concepts that reflected themselves.

iamthemob's avatar

Free will inevitably means we’ll have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. God let’s us listen to whichever one we want, for what reason we ain’t gonna understand for a while.

Disc2021's avatar

I’m going to go with ye ole’ Yin and Yang on this one.

Yes, because he understands without evil there is no good; good would have no meaning or merit. God’s existence depend on Satans – or whoever you’d like to call he/she/or it. The two balance each other out.

Thammuz's avatar

If we’re talking christian mythology, i’d have two answers: Theoretically, he should. In practice, the christian god is the god with the least understanding of anything he supposedly created, if compared to any other mythology.

Almost all his precepts are blatantly contrary to what facts point towards as the “natural order”, his actions are as incoherent as an epic poem in ten books that has been fed through a paper shredder and rebuilt radomly from its pieces, plus he seems to have no clear understanding of what his powers ultimately are.

Just think of the Leviathan, a terrible monster that god supposedly created in order to later kill it on judgement’s day. Why would you create something that has no purpose other than being your enemy, only to kill it later on? And, mind you, leviathan is not one of the fallen angels, he was never intended to be one of the good guys. Then again, if we take the bible’s word for it, god is omniscient, so none of the fallen angels were meant to be the good guys to begin with or he would’ve created them good.

lloydbird's avatar

@downtide I believe that you exist.

jerv's avatar

I am with @Seek_Kolinahr on this one; if our myths are anywhere near correct then God created Satan so either He knows all about Satan or God is incompetent, or at least very different from the omnipotent, omniscient creator that He is alleged to be and the whole thing is a wash since we probably have a lot of other things wrong as well.

As for how well Satan knows God, I have a hard time believing that God would create anything as powerful as He allegedly is, so my guess is that Satan probably lacks quite a bit of knowledge that God has if for no reason other than ego and job security. If I am wrong then Man isn’t really created in God’s image; that is how Man is, so either we are a reflection of God in temperament as well or the myths are wrong.

PARAprakrti's avatar

I have, in the past, made the following analogy: God is to Satan as Wonka is to Slugworth. Upon presenting this analogy to a well-versed, orthodox Jewish friend, he approved.

Does this make God a little bit evil? I would say, no. God, in this sense, is simply serving in a capacity that is only available because of the status of others. By that, I mean, God only entertains “evil” for those who have already fallen susceptible to it and, foremost, desired its construct in the first place. There is an old saying: “Man proposes, God disposes.” And that is what we’re dealing with here. If we were in our constitutional, spiritual positions, then this dualistic idea of good and evil would be nowhere to be found. Just think about it from the Biblical point of view for a moment. What led to the fall of Adam and Eve? The knowledge of good and evil. It wasn’t that there actually existed such a thing as good and evil. It was the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, it was a fall that, at its core, pertained to an epistemology. What it really meant was a dualistic view of personal tastes—likes and dislikes—disjointed from any sort of spiritual understanding; a view separated from God.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

God knows all about Satan and what makes him tick, it is man that is fairly clueless on Satan. Just because God knows what Satan thinks does not make God any more evil than anyone who knows what makes a racist or skin head tick as racist as they; or knowing what makes a pedophile tick makes one a pedophile. Word trickery doesn’t apply.

fundevogel's avatar

“Don’t you know there ain’t no devil?
That’s just God when he’s drunk”

Tom Waits

ragingloli's avatar

So he actually mellows out when he gets wasted? He needs to drink more.

fundevogel's avatar

@ragingloli I don’t think that’s what Tom meant, but it would be interesting to get drunk with God. I imagine that would be the ideal circumstance to get God to elucidate on his mysterious ways. Maybe. I guess it depends on the sort of drunk he is.

I really hope God isn’t an angry drunk.

Thammuz's avatar

@fundevogel I think the point of the joke is that god is, in fact, a very angry drunk.

fundevogel's avatar

@Thammuz That or a sloppy one.

Thammuz's avatar

@fundevogel if it’s the christian god we’re talking about, he is infalliable, at least in theory.

ragingloli's avatar

the joke was actually that god becomes less angry when he turns into a drunk satan.

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